Google has provided some amazing tools and utilities over the years, as well as just plain old search. What many people don’t know is that a lot of these can be accessed from the Google search box (or even the address bar on your browser). Here are 10 which I use regularly, or which are just impressive!
1. Search a particular site. Just add “site:” and the domain name to your search.
2. Be a calculator. Sure, you probably have a calculator utility on your PC, or a calculator on your desk, but if you’re at Google’s site (or your cursor is in your address bar), it may be easier. Type in the sum and you’ll get the answer, and a nice on-screen calculator to do more sums.
3. Do unit conversions. Specialised unit conversion calculators used to be a favourite download. They’re still popular. But Google can do it too. Just type whatever “in” whatever. It does currency too.
4. Do quick translations. Yep, Google Translate is built into the search box too. Type “translate” whatever “to” whatever.
5. Search for file types. Want to find brochures and data sheets about blue widgets? They’re likely to be PDF documents, so use “filetype:PDF” in your search.
6. Find other websites like the one you’re on. Or even find out which other sites Google thinks are like yours. Use “related:” and the domain name.
7. Put yourself under a bit of pressure. Google has a built-in timer. Just type “set timer to” and a length of time.
8. Look up a company address. You’ll all be trying this on your own company, I’m sure. Type “address” and the company name.
9. Tell you what’s in that photo. Go to Google Images and click the camera. You can upload an image, or provide the URL of an image already on a website.
10. Fill in the blanks. When you know part of a phrase, use an asterisk for the bit you don’t know. Google will work it out.